From Clara Herrera:

Packing tonight.

Climbing Kilimanjaro tomorrow.

Just so you are aware, there are no mountains in Tye, Texas – where I grew up – and there are no mountains in Austin, TX – where I live.

I figure if I’m going to climb a dang mountain, it ought to be a big one and help some folks while I’m doing it. So here I am with a few other folks climbing to bring attention to Africa’s water crisis.

If you pledge to Water To Thrive in honor of my climb, I’ll be trying to take you up the mountain with me.

I don’t get any money. It all goes to the charity.

In preparation for the trip, I ripped apart the satin robe I wore in the hospital each time one of my babies was born. It has meaning. And on each strip of satin, I’ve written the name of each person or family who donated toward the climb. Many are students, teachers, and some are people who don’t even know me.

The cloth will be attached to my backpack as I climb. 

Now, the maternal robe has evolved, just like my life, to have deeper meaning.

So will the baseball, the bear, and the sunflower sculpture, that will accompany me representing my three children.

It would be challenging to express succinctly how meaningful this trip and preparing for it has meant to me: the symbolism, the joy, climbing higher, helping others, and just plain breathing. 

Yes, breathing.

As I trek up, I’ll also be taking the usual stuff: a book, smells to help me not stink so bad after a week of hiking with no showers, and water.

But I also think I’ll be taking a bit of God, for this particular climb.

The entity and I haven’t had a lengthy conversation in awhile except for the niceties of, “How ya doing? Thanks!” and “Good to see you.”

I figure eight days without cell service is a good time for that. And, I suspect there won’t be any roaming charges. 

And, I figure if I happen to get voicemail, that means all is well.